Regional operators oppose the abolition of roaming

    Roaming cancellation causes positive emotions among subscribers of telecom operators of federal significance and negative ones among the operators themselves. Recently it became known that regional mobile operators, which serve approximately 3.5 million subscribers, are also against roaming cancellation. This writes the "Kommersant".

    Regional companies are trying to convince the government that they will suffer continuous losses, since they will cancel the charge for incoming calls in roaming. Operators believe that it will not be possible to compensate for the losses, because in regions where there is no own network, you will still have to pay for the services of “colleagues” whose network the customers of the operator will use. Experts believe that in such a situation it is possible that the market will either leave some companies or increase tariffs sharply. Or maybe both will happen.

    Regional companies do not just express an opinion, but try to change the situation. In particular, several operators at once sent a letter to the government of the Russian Federation describing the negative consequences of canceling incoming calls in national roaming. This issue was discussed at a private meeting with Vladislav Fedulov, Director of the Information Technology and Communications Department of the Government, on October 1.

    The meeting was attended by representatives of the "big four", as well as regional companies - "Motive" (he works in the Sverdlovsk and Kurgan regions, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region), and Tattelecom (Tatarstan). “It is expected that following the results they will make a decision that will be sent to the State Duma to finalize the draft law on the abolition of roaming,” said one of the meeting participants.

    At present, intranet roaming in the Russian Federation operates within the network of one company, and the national one turns on when the home network for an operator’s subscriber is not in a certain region. The bill on the abolition of roaming within the Russian Federation was adopted by the State Duma in the first reading in July. The document states that payment for connections between subscribers within the state should be made at a single rate to the operator. In this case, the location of subscribers, both the caller and the receiver does not matter.

    After that, telecommunications companies have equated the cost of outgoing calls, Internet traffic and SMS on trips around the country to the tariffs of the home region. In addition, around the end of August - early September, representatives of the "big four" canceled roaming charges.

    The opinion of the regional operators was heard - the problem was discussed by the FAS together with representatives of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, as described by the representative of the FAS Elena Zaeva. By the way, she believes that the abolition of fees for incoming "will not have a negative impact on the activities of telecom operators and can not be the basis for the growth of tariffs."

    Operators have a different opinion. For example, representatives of “Motive” stated that operators will definitely lose money. Until now, it is unclear how regional operators fit into the new scheme of work, and it is unclear what conditions will be provided for them on the use of networks of operators of federal significance.

    At the same time, the subscriber base growth is not observed. “Like the largest mobile operators, the main growth of regional companies is already over. Only the Tattelecom’s dynamics remain, which is still in the process of restarting the network after acquiring it from the Volga operator SMARTS, ”said Anton Pogrebinsky, partner at AC & M Consulting.

    If the Big Four operators can compensate for their losses due to a change in fees for roaming at the expense of subscribers, which are called high-yield. In the tariffs of these customers roaming is not included before. But regional telecom operators have always offered their services at low prices, so they will not be able to compensate anything, all at their own expense. Most likely, they will simply raise tariffs after the bill is still accepted.

    It is possible that virtual operators will suffer from cancellation of fees for roaming users. According to Rostelecom, the consequences for such companies and ordinary operators will not be very different.

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